I am the son of a poor Puerto Rican immigrant. The 12th of 13 children, my mother had me at the age of 14. As a single mother, she raised me the best she could, having had to grow up and bear so much responsibility at a young age. I grew up on welfare and went to public and magnet schools.
Despite the many barriers, my mother received her Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo in Business Demographics and Geography. Due to blood transfusion overseas during a medical emergency, she caught Hepatitis C, but was not diagnosed until 6 years later. By this time, the damage had been done and was incurable. Having just a few short months to live, she committed suicide, choosing to spare me of the anguish of her decay. I was 18 at the time. Despite this, she taught me the value of an education and to believe in yourself no matter what the odds. My father(s), are a story for another day, but I love them all for dealing with a kid who didn’t know his biological father.
At the age of 23, I enlisted in the Army feeling the need to honor my mother’s last request. I had the honor of serving with the 1st Cavalry Division, Ft. Hood Texas. I was assigned to the Division Surgeon’s office and worked directly with the senior staff. I spent one year deployed in Bosnia at Tuzla-Main Air base and received multiple awards for my service.
After exiting the Army, I used the G.I. Bill to finance my education, where I completed the coursework required for a Bachelor’s in Mathematics at Arizona State University. In the years following I worked as an Actuarial Analyst and then a Operations Manager and a Fixed Income Analyst. In 2010, after the stock market crash and economic turmoil, I left my job and I decided to move to Louisiana. I began working in the French Quarter in a seasonal capacity and was quickly hired full time and have worked in the hospitality industry for 7 years. I quickly fell in love with the friends I made and the heart of Louisiana and have chosen to make this my home for good.
I am currently returning to school to pursue a Ph.D. in Financial Economics. No matter how much I liked working in that industry, my true calling is to Economics and Finance. I see so much opportunity being squandered in this state and want to do my part to improve our economy.
America is hurting and we need representatives of the people, by the people and for the people. Career politicians have had the opportunity to fix our country and failed us. Right now, more than ever, Louisiana needs fresh faces who understand the plight of the worker, but understands the economic realities of the business owner as well. I’ve worked for both my entire life, let me continue that purpose.